Mark The Date!

I’m about to do something rare; even rarer than hen’s teeth. I am going to praise something in California!

Convicted pot felons that want to own a legal marijuana business in Oakland will now be prioritized under new, radical permit rules designed to make amends for the United States’ war on drugs.

The city’s new Equity Permit Program calls for 50 per cent of all licenses for medical marijuana facilities to go to Oaklanders imprisoned for a pot offence in the last 10 years, or to residents of six neighbourhoods that police have excessively targeted for drug arrests.

Of course, being California, they have to get there by way of the Crazytown Expressway:

“Communities of color have been negatively and disproportionately impacted by disparate enforcement of cannabis laws,” reads the ordinance introducing the rules.

Sigh. If we want to stop this nonsense over race, it would help if we just stopped it, OK? Crafting exceptions and carve-outs for minorities isn’t the way to get that done, although I understand the impetus.

Another thing that would help is to be honest about what’s going on here. One of the national myths we operate under is that we’re a “classless society”, which is nonsense. This was early American propaganda against the Brits, who are all over that upper vs. lower class distinction stuff. So instead of being honest with ourselves and admitting that along with all the good things we took from the English, we also got a few not so good ones. As a result we’ve used skin color as a class marker while proclaiming that class doesn’t matter. If we really were as obsessed about that skin color thing as folks nowadays seem to be, you’ll need to explain the existence of terms such as “po’ white trash” and “hillbillies” to me.

Nevertheless, today is a banner day. I’m actually praising something that originates in the People’s Republic. I wonder when we’ll get around to admitting that the War On Drugs was a mistake. After that, I wonder when we’ll finally realize that whenever the Government starts talking about a War On X, it’s time for impeachment, recall, and maybe a bit of recreational tar-and-feathering.

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